where green living, parenthood, and interiors intersect

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Color: Turquoise

Happy Monday!! It's time to feature another color and today I chose turquoise. Likely influenced by my winter daydreams of tropical blue waters, cheery aqua tones are showing up everywhere on my design radar right now. It was a hit color of 2010 but I feel its lure is timeless, a unique blue that is both sophisticated and uplifting. The turquoise stone has long been believed to draw out negativity and help you stay in a place of love and connectedness with others. Glancing at the rooms below, it seems like the hue itself has some of these same uplifting powers.

Images above:

1. image from www.houseofturquoise.com

2. image from inspirebohemia.blogspot.com

3. a room I designed in a Manhattan apartment in 2010 featuring bold turquoise and subdued grays and creams

4. a living/dining room from a 2005 design project showing just how much my love of this color has certainly endured!!

5. image from www.apartmenttherapy.com

6. photo by Lisa Romerein, from www.coastalliving.com

7. Lamp Works Recycled Glass Table Lamp from www.rugsusa.com

8. Handmade Moroccan Poof in turquoise from John Derian.

9. 100% organic cotton Thick & Thirsty Towels in Lagoon from Gaiam.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

Falling in love with a European-American who has been shooting guns since before he could ride a bicycle or write his long Greek last name has caused me to consider my position on firearms and hunting season. I was surprised to find that operating a rifle is a very zen-like experience in which everything but my own breath ceased to exist for a few moments while I aimed at my target. But in my case the target was - and will always be - inanimate paper circles tacked to wooden posts, which apparently are very safe from my novice aim. And even if I someday become a skilled markswoman, the targets will remain the recyclable kind and I won't be putting a real skull or artfully preserved buck head up on my wall anytime soon. But still, for some reason, I like to look at them; in fact the decor of one of my favorite Manhattan restaurants closely resembles an upstate hunting lodge, trophy heads and all. They impart a rustic feel of yesteryear that pairs well with my affinity for patina, peeling paint, wool blankets and clothbound novels. Fortunately for me and nonhunters everywhere, clever home decor brands deliver the look, minus the trip to the taxidermist.

The Steer Horns in Cast Resin from Restoration Hardware is molded from a real skull and hand-finished for striking realism.

This faux Moose Head from Z Gallerie is covered in white lacquer in a nod to taxidermy that is kitschy and fun.

Velocity Art and Design offers a whole herd of hand-carved wooden trophy heads that are as modern and tasteful as they are humane.

Add a little shine to your trophy wall with the oil rubbed Bronze Trophy Head from Ballard Designs.

Designers Christophe Hascoet, Annabel Karim Kassar and Isabelle Rolland created this unique wall-mounted Trophy Lamp replacing fur with form and function.

For a more practical lighting solution, the resin Barbara Cosgrove Ram Horns table lamp has a rustic Southwestern appeal that works with any decor style.

Conceptual Consoles

I'm on the hunt for a unique credenza for one of my design clients. Our three criteria points are that it must be eco-friendly, functional enough to be loaded up with dishware on the inside and loaded with character on the outside. Here are a few of my finds so far:

Trees Graphic Console by Iannone Designs is comprised of kirei doors, FSC certified plywood, Greenguard certified real wood veneers and formaldehyde-free adhesives.

The Weave Credenza by Structured Green is made from salvaged manufacturers' scraps and FSC certified walnut or white oak.

Made from FSC certified hardwoods and materials local to Brooklyn's Wud Design, the Red & White Sideboard looks like whispy clouds in a sunset sky to me.

Quality and craftsmanship are the sustainable aspects of the Namibia Credenza by Ilan Dei Studios, but it's still jaw-droppingly original.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Global Recycling

The use of recycled or reclaimed materials in handcrafted goods is a timeworn tradition that spans every corner of the globe. With the ecological crisis mounting, it's never been a better time to support such creative re-use. And thanks to ecommerce, any of these home accessories can be the newest decorative focal point right in your own living room, no passport required.


Vibrant antique cotton saris take on new life as slipcovered cubes and placemats, both available through www.sundancecatalog.com.

South Africa

Hand-painted recycled tea bags form the intricate border of the 11" square Pya Mirror, available through www.bluedango.com.


A common sight in many countries, discarded automobile tires are refashioned into unique and functional handled baskets, available in sets of 2 from www.atwestend.com.


Ontario-based artist, Hilary Cosgrove, repurposes old suit jackets into custom Alphabet Pillows, each one holding the whimsy and character of their former incarnation.


Crafty designers in London are pushing the envelope in recycled home goods with objects like the RD4 Chair, comprised entirely of hand-woven 100% recycled plastic waste material, and this rustic Vintage Belt Floor Mat, both available from www.branchhome.com


The EPA estimates that Americans produce 220 million tons of trash every year. Whoa. Fortunately for the planet, there are some truly creative artisans from coast to coast turning garbage into usable beauty like Portland-based Evotiv responsible for the reclaimed Hardwood Shelving Unit above and Brooklyn brand Domestic Aesthetic that salvages scraps from a window factory to make the beautiful Spice Block.
I would like to thank my mom.....my son Ryder.....all my Facebook friends and their friends and their friends and their friends....and of course all my homies, you know who you are!!
(Fighting back tears of joy)

Seriously guys, I'm elated!! Thanks to you, Baby Green made it on to the next round of Apartment Therapy's Homies awards in the green blog category. In fact it had the second highest amount of nominations, behind a delightful New Zealand-based blog called The Frugal Kiwi. Considering Baby Green is still a tiny, wriggling newborn (not even one year old yet!), and I have a lot of blogucation to pursue as her guardian (for example, I can't get my links to be consistently orange for the life of me), I am really grateful for this nod of recognition and love.

Please click here and vote for Baby Green in the final round!! Once you've clicked next to Baby Green's name, click on "submit survey" and then you're done! If you'd like to have the full democratic popular vote experience and see the impact of your submission, then click "show results." If the number to the right of Baby Green is not the highest when voting nears its closing on Thursday February 3rd , then by all mean please twitter, text message, re-post on Facebook, send smoke signals, unleash carrier pigeons, whatever it takes.

Thanks again to everyone!

All love,


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sleeping Beauties: Green Thread Shop's New Collection

Handmade, original and organic are three of my favorite words. And they all can be used to describe All WilD, Green Thread Shop's new line of organic cotton baby blankets, accent pillows and endearing onesies. Whimsical nature scenes and fairytale embellishments dance across pure organic cotton fibers on this collection by Southern Californian Nadia Horn, available through her shop on Etsy.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Book It.

We all know the importance of instilling a lifelong love of reading in children from day one. But when chewed-up board books, Dr Suess and Shel Silverstein begin to take over, it's time to consider clever book storage (or a library card!). Here are a few eco-friendly options that are as fun and unique as the tomes that will fill them.

Custom 'book house' finished in zero-VOC paint created for one of my nursery design clients.

The ingenious Block Shelf by Amy Hunting suspends wood scraps on cotton rope.

Woodland Happy Tree Bookshelf (Baltic Birch Edition) from Graphic Spaces is oh-so-cute and completely free of toxic finishes.

Made from 100% recycled wood fiber, this classic stand is the eco-friendly twin of what your children probably already interact with at their school, which gives it classic utilitarian kitsch. www.clutterfreekids.com

Nurserywork's adorable Tree Bookcase crafted in zero-grade MDF and painted with high gloss low-VOC lacquer, available in white and green.

For the modernist, the clean-lined and functional Hiya Bookcase from Spot on Square lets the colorful volumes take center stage

Monday Color: Burnt Orange

When I was school-aged or reporting to a corporate office in my early 20's, Mondays were dismal and long. Now they are one of my favorite days, launching all the possibilities of a fresh new week, on the energizing tails of some weekend downtime.

I want to start honoring my love of Mondays with a weekly inspirational post focused on color. Anyway who knows me won't be surprised that the first color I've selected to feature is burnt orange. This has long been my favorite hue for its dramatic presence in sunrises and sunsets, and because it's the color I see when laying under the summer sun on a beach, eyes clenched shut beneath the powerful rays. I imagine that I'm not seeing the backs of my eyelids but rather the color of my true self.

Images above:
1. a winter sunset in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
2. 'Wings' the piece I just bought from my new favorite photographer Alicia Bock
3. orange dahlias, a vase of which bring me unbounded joy

Sensual and warm, burnt orange is a beautiful accent hue in just about any room and pairs especially well with its cool toned color wheel opposites: the blue family. Here's a few inspirational interiors and a few burnt orange decor finds:

Images above:

1. image from Metropolitan Home, via elledecor.com

2. a loung area in a modern Atlantic Beach home I completed in 2007

3. image from decorpad.com

4. image from hgtv.com

5. Atlas Collection bedding by Calvin Klein, available through Neiman Marcus.

6. Madeline Weinrib's Brooke rug in orange

7. simple, modern orange pendant by Bruck, available at Lighting Direct.